West Yorkshire road users are safer after a UK based mechanic who claimed to have MOT tested a van while it was in Spain has been sentenced to a 12-month community order and banned from testing.

Jamie Smith of Rookhill Road, Pontefract claimed to have ‘completed’ an MOT test and issued a pass certificate for a Mercedes-Benz C van at a garage in West Yorkshire when it had been seized by Spanish police for not having valid tax or MOT.

The van was one of nine vehicles Smith falsely issued MOT certificates for.

Smith was sentenced to a community order to include 50 hours of unpaid work, a curfew from 7pm to 7am for 2 months and ordered to pay full costs totalling £1,620 at Kirklees Magistrates Court on 5 January 2022.

He was also given the full 5 year cessation notice by DVSA.

Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) notified the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) on the 2 June 2021 to make them aware that a vehicle they suspected was in Spain had been issued a MOT in the UK.

DVSA investigated. Spanish Police confirmed the vehicle had been seized and impounded at the time of the MOT.

Part of the investigation also involved a search of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) network between the dates the vehicle was supposedly tested. The search provided no hits of the vehicle being on the UK road network at the time.

The vehicle was actually in a compound over 1,200 miles away from where it was supposed to have been tested on 24 May 2021.

Further investigations revealed that there were a further 8 vehicles, including 4 vans, which had been issued MOT certificates by Smith, without ever having been at the garage.

The certificates were issued between 15 January and 2 June 2021.

Having initially denied the offences, when presented with the evidence, Smith admitted to the counts and to having received payment for the fraudulent MOTs.

DVSA’s Head Regulatory Services & Transformation, Caroline Hicks said: “DVSA’s priority is protecting you from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

“Mr. Smith had no way of knowing the condition of the vehicles. His greed put the safety of drivers and the public danger.

“We will ensure that anyone who compromises safety in pursuit of personal gain feels the full force of the law.”